Threadworms, also known as pinworms, are tiny parasitic worms that infect the large intestine of humans.
Threadworms are a common type of worm infection in the UK, particularly in children under the age of 10.
The worms are white and look like small pieces of thread. You may notice them around your child’s bottom or in their poo.
They don’t always cause symptoms, but people often experience itchiness around their bottom. It can be worse at night and disturb sleep.
If you or your child has threadworms, everyone in your household will need to be treated as there’s a high risk of the infection spreading. This includes those who don’t have any symptoms of an infection.
For most people, treatment will involve taking a single dose of a medication to kill the worms. If necessary, another dose can be taken after two weeks.
During treatment and for a few weeks afterwards, it’s also important to follow strict hygiene measures to avoid spreading the threadworm eggs. This includes regularly vacuuming your house and thoroughly washing your bathroom and kitchen.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, hygiene measures are usually recommended without medication. This is also often the case for young children.
Please encourage hand washing before eating and after using the toilet to prevent the spread of threadworms. For more information please see the NHS website.